Redbuds are one of the more common trees in southern wooded areas and scrub. Their one of the first trees to flower – a harbinger of spring. The heart-shaped leaves will soon follow. Later, near the end of summer, they’ll have seed pods.
I’ve been practicing with the local wildlife. Finally figured out how to implement “back button” focusing on the Sony A7III, which helps enormously with a telephoto. No more shifting focus to the wrong piece of grass.
The other big trick it to be non-threatening. I take a small chair and sit. The deer watch for a while and then go back to deer stuff (eating mostly).
The sony 600mm lens is pretty good as this detail shows.
A 0.5second exposure, steadied by a tree, of our campfire from last night. I like how the sparks fly and how the chaotic drafts from the fire move them. Mostly upwards, but sometimes in circles.
A slightly rain worn turkey track is so much like a T-rex track. It shows that there are survivors. Baby T-rex’s were about the same size as today’s Turkeys. Glad that the Turkey’s don’t grow any bigger.
The wild turkeys have been visiting of late. They’re a bit hard to photograph because as a “tasty bird” they are also extremely shy. Getting these images, at dusk, took pushing my camera’s limits.
This group is all toms (male). You can see that by their beards and brightly coloured heads. Later in the year they will break up and recruit individual harems. But for now, being in a flock with many eyes to look out for danger outweighs any romantic rivalry.
I need to be more like my lab.
A happy dog. An enthusiastic dog. A dog with two speeds – full tilt and asleep.
Every action he takes is full of life.
Something of a reminder, about grief. About 1/1000 Americans have died from Covid-19. To put this in context, most people have a “nodding acquaintance” list of about 100 people. If individuals overlap by about 90% then almost certainly someone in your circle or in the next layer out is gone.
I hope they are not forgotten.
I’ve been learning to do panoramas. The woods in Alabama. Same view but different seasons.
Solar power is a go!
The future is not good for oil, no matter which way you look at it. — Motherboard
Solar — it’s not just a clean power source producing zero emissions and almost no local water impact, it’s also now one of the best choices on the basis of how much energy you get back for your investment. And with climate change impacts rising, solar’s further potential to take some of the edge off the harm that’s coming down the pipe makes speeding its adoption a clear no-brainer.
In 2016, according a trends analysis based on this report by the Royal Society of London, the energy return on energy investment (EROEI) for oil appears to have fallen below a ratio of 15 to 1 globally. In places like the United States, where extraction efforts increasingly rely on unconventional techniques like fracking, that EROEI has fallen to 10 or 11…
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Having invaded the UK this July 4th, I thought I’d post on some of the things that make our motherland, albeit the one we stormed away from different from the USA. Also I’ll give some practical tips. Right now I should add a disclaimer. I’m not responsible for the consequences if you follow them. I repeat, you’re on your own.
This post is about driving.
They drive on the other side of the road. The left, those socialist commies, the left I tell you. Sorry I was channeling my “inner republican.”
But they do drive on the left, and if you are hiring a car it is helpful to know a few tricks.
First, do you need a car? If you are staying in the cities, no. Renting one in London would be exceedingly daft as they have excellent transport and more importantly, huge areas where you need a special permit to drive. Don’t bother. You can get from city to city and to most, but not all, of the touristy spots without your own car.
However, if you’re like us and visiting the non-touristy spots (somehow I doubt my brother and sister in law would appreciate the company) then you’ll need one. Check the deals you can get by booking one when you get your tickets. BA is especially good for this and a car rental with tickets is sometimes cheaper than tickets.
Almost all the cars are manual transmission. I repeat, almost all the cars are manual transmission. You can pay extra for an automatic, but be manly and use the stick. (did I just write that?, yes). It works very much like it does in the US. Except you use your left hand and remember to reach further left than you think you need to. You’ll find, or at least I do, that the right/left side of the road comes naturally, but there are some gotcha’s.
Turns with islands. You’ll initially want to go down the wrong side. Don’t.
Pedestrians and other road hazards, things like zebra crossings. They’re on the left. You’re used to them being on the right. Make a conscious effort to look in the other side. By the way, not only is it illegal to run down pedestrians, but you have to stop for them. Silly law, but that’s the way it is.
Stop lights. Stop lights go yellow before they turn green. Just like drag strips. It’s good, and I wish they’d do that back home. Of course the idiots in Atlanta would hop the yellow, so perhaps its for the best. The law is to put your car in neutral and set the parking brake when you’re at a stop. The yellow is to tell you to put it in gear. Then expect traffic to shoot off when it turns green. Sort of like at a drag race. By the way, don’t be shocked when your engine stops when you put it out of gear and set the brake. That’s to save petrol, I mean gas.
There is no right turn on red.
Traffic circles are ubiquitous. There is a rule for them. The vehicle (including bikes, lorries and other cars) on the circle to the right has the right of way. They mean it. If you’re turning left, be in the left lane (or left side of your lane) with the turn signal set. If you’re going straight don’t set your signal, and if you’re turning right, set the turn signal to the right. Then enter the circle and exit at the right time. If you’re turning right, set the signal to left when it’s time to leave the circle. It is ok to go around if you miss your turn. (Not just Yanks do this.)
Turning across traffic. If it’s light, OK. Otherwise don’t. Go with traffic and use the next roundabout (circle) to go the way you want.
The Motorways have a speed limit of 70, except when they don’t. A-roads, B-roads have 60, and other roads 50. Except when posted otherwise. A-roads are sort of like numbered state highways, B-roads are a little smaller, and the others, well they range from quite decent to little more than an “metalled” (paved) track. A warning, in the country or in National Parks, the A-roads can be one lane wide. It makes driving interesting and fun.
Don’t use your horn. It’s not polite. You can however give them the finger.
Enough for now, we have to drive to Tesco’s to pick up a few supplies.